Customer Success: Working with Customers that don’t like Technology

Luckily this type of thing is rare, but with Customer Success as our operating philosophy, or Customer Success Management as our operating model, we need to work within the confines of our customer’s comfort zone… not ours.

This is a thought-provoking question with, hopefully, an equally thought-provoking answer.

For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

What if our customers don’t like technology?

I see this sometimes for sure. People will say, you know this customer segment something of farmers may fit into this. Again, generalization. Our customers don’t like or this market they don’t like technology. You know, they’re not very tech-forward.

I did some work in the oil and gas, or with the companies in the oil and gas industry. It was sort of the same thing. And you kind of go back to these mechanical older industries.

And it’s really easy to say well they don’t like technology. But if you look at it, and I said this to these that were in the oil and gas business, when they told me that.

I said “how, I mean this doesn’t make any sense.”

“You’re telling me they don’t like technology? Yet they use data to make all their decisions. They are some of the most technology forward people, in terms of the technology used to drill. Like they’ll take a drill bit that’s brand new, never been tested. They’ll put it in use. Just to try the, you know, eek out some more efficiencies in the process. And you’re telling me that they’re not into technology.”

And then you start digging in you find out well what they’re not into is like IT stuff. Computer stuff. Right? They don’t like IT people. Right? Probably because somebody was a jerk to them at some point.

So what you need to do is sort of change the way that you approach this. If you go to a non-tech customer and you try to sell them your software, your IT solution.

Yeah, chances are they’re not going to want to hear from you. But if you go to them and talk about things in their language, using the way, things that resonate with them, well now we’re onto something. Right?

So again, Appropriate Experience.

Understand your customers better than they understand themselves.

And figure out what’s going on. What’s the conversation already taking place in their mind. And if you can enter that conversation that’s already taking place in their mind, things are gonna be a lot better.

So those are just a few things around Customer Success-driven sales that weren’t part of that question but I think are incredibly important.

About Lincoln Murphy

I invented Customer Success. I focus primarily on Customer Engagement. Learn more about me here.